Degeneration of cardiac tissues is considered a major cause of mortality in the western world and is expected to be a greater problem in the forthcoming decades. Cardiac damage is associated with dysfunction and irreversible loss of cardiomyocytes. Stem cell therapy for ischemic heart failure is very promising approach in cardiovascular medicine. Initial trials have indicated the ability of cardiomyocytes to regenerate after myocardial injury. These preliminary trials aim to translate cardiac regeneration strategies into clinical practice. In spite of advances, current therapeutic strategies to ischemic heart failure remain very limited. Moreover, major obstacles still need to be solved before stem cell therapy can be fully applied. This review addresses the current state of research and experimental data regarding embryonic stem cells (ESCs), myoblast transplantation, histological and functional analysis of transplantation of co-cultured myoblasts and mesenchymal stem cells, as well as comparison between mononuclear and mesenchymal stem cells in a model of myocardium infarction. We also discuss how research with stem cell transplantation could translate to improvement of cardiac function.
Keywords: Heart, stem cells, therapy, transplantation, CMCs, embryonic stem, embryonic carcinoma, Cardiomyocytes, mouse embryonic fibroblast, embryoid bodies
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